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Can farm bill show Congress how to get along?
After taking a back seat to the government shutdown and debt ceiling debates, we may see some progress on the farm bill soon. The conference committee has been appointed and has started to meet to hammer out the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill.
U.S. Rep. Bob Gibbs and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown released a joint statement upon the commencement of the Senate-House conference committee.
“It seems to be a rarity these days when two members of Congress from different political parties are able to come together on an important issue such as the farm bill, but we have found common ground. We believe the farm bill conference must produce a bill that provides common sense, market-based resources that ensure economic stability for farmers and savings for taxpayers,” Brown and Gibbs said.
Brown also recently spoke with Ohio Farm Bureau’s Joe Cornely about crop insurance, the link between farm programs and nutrition programs, agriculture’s clout in D.C. and how a farm bill might show Congress how to get along.
“I think farmers want to be in large part left alone, but at the same time farmers want a safety net. They aren’t looking for bailouts, they aren’t looking for price supports, but farmers need to know that they can buy crop insurance at a reasonable price,” Brown said. “If yields are particularly low or weather is particularly bad as we saw a year ago, that they can get some assistance because agriculture really is different from any other small business.”
Ohio Congresswoman Marcia Fudge also has been appointed to the conference committee.
“Going to conference on this important legislation is long overdue. While there have been several dividing issues affecting the farm bill, I look forward to working with my colleagues in both the House and Senate to find a solution,” Fudge said. “I hope the result is a comprehensive farm bill that provides certainty for U.S. farmers, ranchers, consumers and nutrition program providers.”
Brown said anyone who has thoughts about what they want to see from the conference committee should contact his office.
Callie Wells is a communications specialst for Ohio Farm Bureau.